NAFEA wants higher service charge for Europe

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Dec 26, 2017-

Nepali recruiting agencies and the government authority seems to be at loggerheads over the service charges for sending Nepali migrant workers to European countries.

The umbrella organisation of recruiting agencies, Nepal Association of Foreign Employment Agencies (NAFEA), has been expressing its dissatisfaction over the service charge set by the Ministry of Labour and Employment (MoLE). 

The NAFEA President Rohan Gurung says the Rs 10,000 service charge set by the government is very low for sending Nepali migrant workers to developed countries that offer better facilities and income. 

Low service charge, according to him, has resulted in Nepalis losing jobs opportunities in Europe countries to the people from other countries. 

“We have been receiving work demands from Sweden, Malta and other European countries for Nepali workers. 

Those jobs have better remuneration and facilities. But with low service charge, it is impossible for recruiting agencies to supply workers,” Gurung told the Post.

For a recruiting agency to supply workers overseas, its representatives must visit the concerned country to get to know the job environment, set up its office and hire staff. 

“All this cannot be achieved with just Rs 10,000 as service charge,” says Gurung. 

The government had not even set the service charge for sending workers to Europe until recently. Though some recruiting agencies in the country had already received labour demand from countries like Sweden and Malta, they could not send workers because the government had not set the service charge.

“When the government finally decided the service charge after months of delay, it turned out to be too little for recruiting agencies to take a step forward,” says Gurung.

 The government had set the ceiling of Rs. 10,000 as service charge for sending migrant workers on foreign employment in June 2015 when it had also introduced the free visa and ticket scheme.

The government has said that the service charge for now has been capped for all the countries in line with the existing rate fixed by the ministry. 

“As there was not fixed rates for different countries, we have continued with the existing charges for new countries as well,” said MoLE Spokesperson Bhuwan Prasad Acharya. “We are well aware about the expenses the recruiting agencies have been mentioning. However, the best international practice is making employers pay for everything.”

The recruiting agencies are demanding one month’s salary of workers as service charge of sending them to European countries.

Acharya says the existing cap of Rs 10,000 is not going to stay the same for ever. He suggests that there should be a serious discussion before setting a new rate. 

Nepal issues individual work permits for 165 countries and institutional work permits for 108 countries. But most recruiting agencies in the country only supply workers to the Middle Eastern and the Southeast Asian countries. It is only recently that some recruiting agencies have shown interest in supplying workers to European countries. (PR)

Published: 26-12-2017 07:41

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